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New online service to improve Lasting Power of Attorney

The Office of Public Guardian (OPG)has launched a new digital 'Use a lasting power of attorney' tool which, it says, will help those acting as an attorney to contact organisations like banks and healthcare providers more easily. This will improve the speed with which they can make important decisions, such as those related to their loved ones' care or property.

The current paper-based process can take weeks, as documents need to be requested and confirmed between organisations and individuals, before being posted as physical copies. The new system will allow those acting as an attorney to provide a secure code, which when submitted to the online portal will nearly instantaneously confirm their status as an attorney and the power they hold – authorising them to take actions on their loved ones' behalf.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows people to appoint someone else (an attorney) to make decisions about their welfare, money or property. They are often used by older people to choose someone they know and trust to make decisions for them were they to lose capacity in the future – but can be used by anyone at any age. The number of registered LPAs has increased drastically in recent years to more than four million, with many taking the important step to plan for the future.

The new service, available to newly registered LPAs immediately, is part of a wider transformation of the work of OPG – making better use of digital products and services, and using smarter ways of working. Crucially, the new tool maintains existing checks, including to confirm whether someone has the legal right to act as an attorney and the powers they may be entitled to – protecting the vulnerable and elderly from abuse of an LPA.

To access the new system, click here.